tv The Stream Al Jazeera February 27, 2014 2:30am-3:01am EST
>> that'll do it for this edition of al jazeera. remember, news at the top of every hour, and as always you can get the latest headlines at aljazeera.com. thanks for watching. >> hi, i'm lisa fletcher and you're in "the stream." with dialogue rejected, how will things go in venezuela? everything from dialogue on gas prices here at home. our digital producer, wajahat ali is bringing in all of the talk.
waj, they're asking to have mutual forgiveness. >> a lot of blame, a lot of bias, a lot of venezuelans. is it the government of maduro, sit the opposition? rage against a revolution the impoverished people of venezuela created? you can see what side he's on. on the flip side, this is a failed government, elected via elections, by the people. once in power, masquerades as a democracy. and tweet in, to discredit social democracy and we just got this tweet in, abby, i want my elderly parents, 83 and 88, to have toilet paper and not die on the way to the store. >> after more than two weeks of
unrest in venezuela, all this began over student protests over the high crime and faultering economy. skyrocketing violence as well as police brutality against them. but maduro described his opponents as far is, destabilizing the country. boast both sides exchange blame for initiating the violence. who is responsible for the violence in venezuela and can the u.s. play a constructive role and what impact will it have here at home? beach. she has family in venezuela. jesus silva, university of central venezuela, martin, opera.org, a left-leaning
website, and, notth sane analysis of the venezuelan political scene. welcome everybody to the program. so alex, the pictures we're seeing coming out of venezuela are very dramatic but they never really tell the whole story compared to what's happening on the ground. you have family in venezuela, what are they telling you? >> by family is currently in a state -- my family is currently in a state of a lot of fear. they haven't been able to leave home for a while. and so this week is particularly tar fieg. -- terrifying because of barricades. my brother is working for a hospital and hasn't been able to get to work, which is probably affecting a lot of people, and my nephew can't be at school where he goes to college. it's a very scary time and overall i would say there's a terrible mourning for the fact
that we seem to are lost a hold of a country. of a situation that is untenable. both for every chas -- class and there's only one president of everyone. so afl of a country is -- so if half of a country is living disfranchised and fearful, we have to look for who is -- disenfranchised and fearful we have to look who is responsible for that. >> take a look at this poll. between 2012 and 2013, the number of venezuelans who thought the economy was getting worse, shot up from 22% to 62%. and the ones who thought their standard of living was lowering went up also.
was there a coninfluence of events? >> the economic policy framework hasn't really been sane for a long period of time. you have a country that basically exports one thing and imports everything that can be imported. even though there's a lotting out and a lot of money coming in, price controls everything, maybe you're familiar with rent controls. everybody knows when you have rent controls in the city. the people who have access to the rent controlled apartments hoard them, don't want to leave them, and everybody else is desperately looking for a place to live. in venezuela we have rent controls for everything, we have rent controls for food, for medicine, for toilet paper, so you can find food and medicine and toilet person and everything
everything -- and everyone is scared. when you have everything that is imported and only one thing exported you start to hit all of these bottlenecks and it becomes extremely frustrating for people. just trying to do your weekly shopping becomes an ordeal. you have to wait hours to get flour. >> that's an interesting explanation. jesus, what's happened? this has been going on for a very long time. >> i have to be very honest, very clear and very direct. i really regret when some fellow citizens from venezuela refer to our country as the planet of the apes. because it's not true. at all. we haven't had not even one company closed during the last 15 days. so the stage now is pretty much normal.
and when people say that the government, it's not giving dollars to businessmen that have a fair reason. and the reason means that the main company that produces dollars, the very currency here in venezuela is the state. our petroleum company. so the state and the government have the right to decide how they will distribute those foreign currencies. so for that reason, the foreign currency is being given especially to social plans, to people who need it in the social services and public services. >> i get all of this but nobody's answering my questions. why now? why did this happen now alex? >> let me give you a short answer. >> that's okay. i'm going to alex in the studio. >> the fact that our security, the fact that 24,000 people died last year, the fact that my
nephew has to carry his cell phone in his underwear. stolen. he has to carry it in his underwear. they have to lock the class because they are scared that criminals will come in and rob them. when they are riding in public transportation they are terrified for being robbed. our crime levels are through the roof. >> the worst crime rate in the world, right? >> jesus we have to be honest about what the problems are. i'm not saying there aren't merits. i'm saying we have to discuss the problems right now because a country is in crisis and it's irresponsible, it's irresponsible to say that it's only one side or it's only the other and to completely deny that there's a problem. >> alex i'm going to get the community's voice coming in. ma mario saying the violence on the ground is almost like a war, he says the government firing and torturing hiem
people. then edwin on facebook, the government should do alt it's doing to stop peaceful protesters. and how about every single corrupt leech of a politician, for the past 15 years martin, i want you to get in the community, the diaspora community, is raging. who is responsible for the violence that has left 15 people dead? >> i have to say many of the problems that have been described by the other guests have been in place for a long time. the government doesn't have the most competent economic team. it is obvious. they fail sometimes to see the real dynamics of the global market and they try to enact some policies that fail or don't have the right effect. but the issue is that maduro won the election and two weeks ago we had elections for governors around mayors.
and again, the left wing appeared that support maduro won 60% of cities and states. in spite of the crime in spite of the scarcity of some goods, whatever the reasons for this is, if a question of respecting the democratic rights for those who voted for maduro, that is at the bottom of all this. >> but you're not respecting the rights of the people who didn't, he oant won -- only won by 1.49%. is he supposed to ignore one half of the country and only pay attention to the other half? is at a how you should run the country? >> i think there should be dialogue and i think maduro should silt down with those -- sit down and have conversation with those who have real concerns. crime, inflation and so on. >> there is no and so on. there's censorship, there's
crime there's inflation, there's hatred, he's been spewing hatred. revolution. he screams into the television set and he's screaming at half the country. and i promise you if you raised the country and you screamed at half your children every day, those children would eventually detest you. and they would want you not as their father. >> wait -- >> jesus, i want to get you back into the conversation. talking about dhoog talking about dialogue, the opposition heerdz said we're not -- leaders say we're not going to attend. haven't they delegitimized the process before they start? >> a letting government is about majority. we are noll not telling here that the -- we are not telling here that the minority should not be heard.
i think everyone has to be heard. so this is a democracy because in the last 15 years we have had more elections than any other country in the world. i'm talking about 19 elections in 15 years. so when -- >> jesus, how many opposition protests -- >> let me continue for one minute. >> you say everyone is being heard, everyone is not being heard. >> listen, when you tell the people -- >> let him finish his thought. >> when you tell the people that the majority is not being heard, it's not true. because even inside the opposition, the people who are pushing and pushing the protest, don't represent a majority. they're about 5,000 people in the streets. to do what we have been doing because. >> oh my gosh! oh my gosh! >> and the party known as
democratic action do represent and. >> i got to get francisco to respond, i've got to hit a break after that. francisco go. >> it's not about being a majority. it's about rights that every single person has according to the constitution and according to the human condition. you have a rye to due process, you have a right to assembly, you don't have to be 51% to be able to protest a sexual assault in a college town like we did, without being jailed, without being tortured. we have 18 cases of torture that are now documented. this is not about majority and minority. this is about a fact that the government does not accept dissenting points of view as legitimate and until it stoorts do that there will be no -- starts to do that there will be no peace.
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>> ♪ ♪ >> welcome back. we're talking about the crisis in venezuela and what it will take to end the violence. role. president maduro accuses the u.s. of helping organize the protest. the u.s. state department says those allegations are baseless and false. in general and in this crisis in particular? >> well the u.s. has had a long history in intervening in many affairs of foreign countries and venezuela is no exception. the crisis in venezuela that have made some people angry and people taking advantage of it to mobilize their militants and their forces and cost their own rights in the balance. i think that the u.s. you know doesn't have a way of playing a positive role here. and should just let you know the venezuelans to solve the conflict themselves.
today has been the toarnl general in venezuela -- attorney general in venezuela announced, they are detaining more people for violation of rights and termination of personal power. in other cases have worked up to a point and i think it should be left to venezuelans to solve this crisis. >> francisco, you are the political opposite of martin, but i see you shaking your head with him. >> i think other countries in the region have a role to play. i think they have foreign ministries of brazil and argentina and you'r uruguay. to have human rights violated, should press for an investigation and the impairsment is they are not doing it. today saw a tweet that just not
capturing it. the united states is to the venezuelan government is what the dog is to the homework that the kid said the dog ate. >> talking about people who have been affected, a lot of people forget the diaspora community. painting everyone who left inaccurate. my parents are not college educated who were successful business owners who want to grant their kids a better life than they shared. nest tor or says, i, we are all invested emotionallily. we aremotionally. we have a great video coming from anita. give a listen. >> i left venezuela in 2005 because of political climate. every time i get a phone call
from back home i feel it's going to be bad news, robbed kidnapped or for the worst, killed. my family, i hope you are not alone , arri rive venezuela. >> how has this affected you? >> we are fearful, desperate for our families, trying to get the word out. for mr. silva who said there are 5,000 people at a march where clearly -- >> which i completely rectify. >> and we're sad. because everyday we have to hear kind of horrific stories about the day-to-day living, your family calls and says they have to go to five supermarkets to
make one -- to buy the meal, the food for the week, it's sad and then you hear about people who just die and are kidnapped every day. and so it's heartbreaking. it's heartbreaking and the fact that -- i think it's cynical jesus to smile when the country's in so much trouble. shame on you. >> you want to portray -- >> who are living in the planet of the apes i am telling you that is not the situation of my country. i can tell you something very precise. i'm a professor of constitutional law in the most important university of venezuela. the president has never suspended human rights. >> jeffs tell me -- >> freedom of expression was suspended -- >> shame on you, shame on you. shame on you jesus.
you are defending the indefensible. people are dying. shame on you. >> our constitution has never been suspended for the last 15 years. we are speaking about numbers here. you cannot compare the present situation with the past situation. >> martin, go ahead. >> when i left the country in 1594 and emigrated to the united states, my family only ate meat once a week. today venezuela had an obesity crisis, which is what is the opposite of when i left the country. poverty was in the 60s, now poverty is 23%. obviously when you look at the results of the elections that's what you have to look like. why are so many venezuelans happy can, in spite of all the problems we are having? >> are we happy, what we're seeing this week, are we happy? are we happy? we are a happy people,. >> calm down. >> calm down?
are you watching what's going on? >> people, 75% of cities voted for the left wing politician. they vote for maduro, a virtual referendum for maduro. people still voted for maduro, why, i think i'm asking. >> i think there's a referendum going on right now. you are not showing it on tv. hey jesus i have a doctor -- professor sero i have a question for you. i have a question for you. tell me how many protests have state tv state owned channels how many protests have aired, opposition protests have aired in the state that our people live in? >> ashave him answer. jesus. >> i will give you the answer,
every protest that has occurred in the last 15 days has been highlighted 50 state media. -- by the state media. no democratic government in the world would allow a small group of violent people to rule a country. would mr. obama lou the kkk to rule his country? would mr. obama to allow the black panthers to rule his country? >> jesus, stop for a second. just from the video alone that we have seen from the protest, people. i don't know who you're talking to here, saying it's 5,000 in the streets. there have been more than that at every one of these protests this week. francisco jump in there and then we'll hit a break. >> i think it's brilliant that
people watching this program is getting to hear jesus's point of view. no one that has a problem that they're doing, that we are all far is, that we are all kkk, anyone that has a point of view that is even a little bit different from the government -- >> obviously i was going to ask the question, can one side win this standoff or compromise the only way out, i think compromise is going to be a tough one here. >> good luck. >> what does opposition hook like in venezuela? >> these protestors have decided that today they will be arrested >> these people have chased a president from power, they've torn down a state... >> what's clear is that people don't just need protection, they need assistance. e's more t.
waj, before the break we asked our community what a workable solution might look like between the government and the opposition? >> in three minutes we'll figure it out and everybody will have a cookie vand fun hercookie and hn here. >> george says everybody thinks i'm 100% right and you're 100% wrong. calm down and realize the economic situation of the country. stop oppressing media, mario says freedom is not free, all sorts of sacrifices must be made. let's see lisa away sorts of sacrifices could be made in both sides. >> we've got about two minutes. jesus, i'll start with you. what is the first step to solving this crisis in your perspective? >> all we need is love as the beatles said.
so when about 5,000 people are committing violence, i'm not speaking about the government. i'm not speak going my brothers and sisters of the opposition. i want to make that clear. so i really hope we will get along very shortly and this country will be a happy country in the future. >> martin, how does it get to a happy place that gets along? >> i think the government definitely should sit down with the students who have real concerns about the future of the life. people who are middle class professionals who have a car, who have an apartment and not oligarchs, not part of the burnl bourgeoisie. leaders of the opposition, many of whom have promoted violence. maduro and his government should sit down with the students. state owned fam factories have -- factories have been producing less and less.
why can't the country produce more, why do they keep promoting bureaucrats to the nationalized factory, so we don't have food in the country and production is starting to go down. there should be a dialogue between those people. >> franci francisco is that possible? >> earlier in the month, the, building the bird cage that the cuban people have been living in for the last 53 years. she's right. venezuelans are not going to stand for this. we are going to fight. as long as there is any semblance of freedom loving in venezuela we are not going to allow this to go down without a site. >> alex, i'm sorry, we didn't have a minute to get you in. appreciate all of our conversation from all our guests, it was very feisty and very enlightening.
so until next time waj and i will see you online. >> ukraine's parliament perhaps to approve a new government. we'll be live in kiev. >> security in ukraine is a major challenge. armed men are reported to have taken over buildings in the crimea region. this is al jazeera, live from doha >> also ahead - 175 rebels killed in an army ambush n one of the bloodiest incidents in syria's 3-year long conflict. >> qantas plans to